Unable to resist the temptation any longer, I recently popped into Smoke, the new burger joint in town, located directly across the street from my place of employment. Then a few days later, I went back. Located in the former Jojutlas location (don’t worry, Jojutlas fans, they just moved across the street), Smoke has hit the food scene boasting creative smoked burgers, seasoned fries, hot dogs, and a host of other indulgent calorie cows, like shakes made with real ice cream. (They also have salads, but who really cares.) For Canton natives, Smoke is owned by the same restaurant group responsible for Old Carolina (yummy BBQ joint) and Baja Pizzafish (California themed Mex-Amer-Italian fusion place in North Canton).
We recently had the privilege to dine at The Greenhouse Tavern, Jonathon Sawyer’s green “gastropub” on East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland, focusing on sustainability and the farm-to-plate movement. It was downtown Cleveland restaurant week, so I decided it was about time to see what all the hype was about. Let’s get to the point, I’ve been talking about GHT since we had dinner there two months ago. And frankly the only reason I haven’t blogged sooner is that I was afraid I wouldn’t do it justice. Chef Sawyer, if you’re reading this, please forgive me for butchering descriptions, it’s going to happen. All I can say is it was a lot to take in; plus, I think I slipped into a food-induced “high” of sorts about midway through the meal.
Not surprisingly, there are few things that excite me more than 1) the prospect of a new (original) restaurant, and 2) a great burger. Thanks to one of my readers (never thought I’d be saying that), I heard about a cool new burger bar in Akron. The Rail at Summit Mall is creating some buzz and has the potential to carve out a niche for itself in the Akron food scene.
There are few culinary creations more satisfying than a delicious bowl of lobster bisque. It is not often that one has a chance to indulge in lobster, so lobster bisque, while still a luxury, makes the the experience a little more frequently obtainable. I give full credit to my good friend Melissa for turning me onto it some years ago. We were at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in La Jolla, California when Melissa got noticeably excited to see lobster bisque on the menu, (a dead give-away of a true foodie: spontaneous mood change at the mere thought of certain dishes). While it turned out that Sammy’s bisque fell slightly short for Melissa (she remains partial to Bon Vie in Columbus), all was not lost, because for me, a new obsession was born. Now, like Melissa, a smile comes to my face when I see lobster bisque on the menu. And that is one of the main reasons why Mulligan’s Pub in Canton is a must try.
Yet again I have to break my “no-chain” rule to talk about the newly-opened Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Canton at the Strip. As a dreamer, it’s my duty to get the word out to my local readers, who just might be contemplating a trip to Five Guys. All I can say is: Holy In-and-Out knock-off, Batman! Are you kidding me?! This obvious stealing of In-and-Out Burger’s look, feel, and menu is off-putting to say the least, but could the burgers be better?? I was skeptical.
A long-standing South Akron tradition is Ido on South Main Street. Sitting in an inconspicuous little building just down the block from Bridgestone America’s brand new (nearly complete) Akron Technical Center, Ido has been serving burgers in Firestone Park since 1943. Today, this neighborhood burger joint’s menu has expanded to salads, sandwiches, steaks, prime rib, a variety of “comfort food” favorites, and seafood.